Rome, Italy, June 14 – It took a little longer than anticipated, but on day two of the FIVB Swatch World Championships Rome 2011 powered by smart, men’s number one seeds Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser won their first match.
After a surprise loss to fellow Americans Casey Jennings and Kevin Wong on day one, they recovered with a straightforward 21-13, 21-13 victory over Angolan pair Morais Abreau and Mario Silva.
“It is always good after a loss to rebound with a win,” Rogers said. “Last night we struggled and I struggled particularly. I had some flu like symptoms and had been sleeping all day long and just had low energy.
“Granted Angola isn’t the strongest team, but they give everything they’ve got. They dig a lot of balls and work hard, so it is just good to get out of there with a good win.”
The pair went into their opening game in less than perfect shape. Rogers was ill, while Dalhausser was struggling to overcome an ankle strain.
Rogers appeared back to near his best in the win, but Dalhausser will continue to have therapy as the competition progresses.
“Phil is doing a bit better than last, though he looked a bit gimpy out there and he struggled a little bit. I felt great to be honest, I felt really good. I had a lot of energy and was able to move in the sand,” Rogers said.
“But that’s all we’ve got right now, so we’ve got to deal with the circumstances of a busted up ankle and me being sick and hopefully we can get over that and be around on Sunday.”
Rogers admitted that it was doubtful whether the duo would be able to play right up to the start of the match with Jennings and Wong; such was the fear that Dalhausser would worsen the condition of his ankle.
With the bulk of their problems behind them though, the 2007 world champions and 2008 Olympic champions feel that winning Rome 2011 would match their previous success.
“If we could get to the final and win I would be overjoyed,” Rogers said. “It’s the big goal for the year these world champs and given all the circumstances. We originally thought we might not play because Phil’s ankle was so bad.
“We came here a little bit tired maybe, a little bit worn down. But we figure better earlier in the week, then later wrap it up and get better and better as you go on, so you’re in a good spot.”